Photo by: Jimmy Gekas/Sideline Studios
Anne Wethe and the Tritons host Dominican at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
Women's Soccer Starts UC San Diego's Fall Sports Season with Thursday Match
Release: Monday 08/30/2010 

LA JOLLA, Calif. - The 2010 uniforms for the UC San Diego women's soccer team feature seven stars on the left shoulder, representing the number of national titles that the Tritons have won in program history. With the new season set to begin Thursday with a 4:30 p.m. match against Dominican, UCSD's search for star No. 8 is renewed.

In 2009, the Tritons reached the NCAA West Region Championship with a squad that featured freshmen and sophomores at 10 of the 11 starting spots. While the team was labeled as "young" last season, its identifying characteristic might shift to "experienced" in 2010, considering how playoff-tested UCSD is at this point.

Senior All-American Lisa Bradley has played in five NCAA Tournament matches while the 10-member junior class is primed to step up and take leadership roles this season.

Leading the UCSD offense in 2009 was junior forward Sarah McTigue, who collected three goals in the postseason alone, including a two-score effort in the Tritons' second-round win over Chico State. The focal point of the UCSD attack didn't sit squarely on McTigue's shoulders though, as she was one of five players to tally double-digit points last season. Anne Wethe led the squad in assists with eight, while Shelby Wong contributed a balance of goals (6) and assists (5).

Returning to her regular spot in net this year will be Kristin Armstrong, who started all 22 matches in 2009 and only allowed 16 goals. Competing for a share of the minutes will be Sarah Garland, a junior transfer from the University of San Francisco.

Armstrong will see a familiar line of defense in front of her in 2010, with Hayley Johnson, Sara Spaventa and Ellen Wilson doing their best to shut down the opposition's scoring threats. Aside from Armstrong, those three defenders were the only Tritons to play more than 1,900 minutes last season.

With practically the entire 2009 roster intact heading into the new campaign, head coach Brian McManus and his staff don't have a lot of lineup mysteries to solve. One unknown though is newcomer Annette Ilg, who played four years of basketball for the Tritons. As a starting 5-foot-10 guard on the court, she earned all-conference honors as a senior and scored 25 points in her final game. Stepping onto the soccer field this fall as a forward will be a new challenge for the athletically-gifted Ilg, who is enrolled in a graduate program for Chemistry and Biochemistry.

With a clean slate ahead, UCSD will challenge Dominican at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday and on Saturday, the Tritons will host Notre Dame de Namur at 7 p.m. Both of the visiting squads hail from the Pacific West Conference and the meetings will mark the first time that UCSD has faced those opponents in program history.

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